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Housing support for the armed forces community

  1. Contact us
  2. Who we can support
  3. Flats for ex-service men and women
  4. Household essentials (cooker, washing machine etc.)
  5. Local organisations that can help with housing
  6. More support and advice
  7. Watch the video

Contact us

If you need help with housing, call us on 0300 123 6633 (housing advice is available Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm). 

If you are facing homelessness, it is important that you call us as soon as possible. Call: 

  • 0800 141 2645 (freephone) - Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, and Friday 9am to 4.30pm
  • 0191 456 2093 - out of the above hours
  • or use the freephone at South Shields Town Hall

Whatever your situation, we will do what we can to help.

When you call, a member of staff will speak to you about your situation. This can be over the phone, or we can arrange a face to face conversation if you prefer. We will ask you about:

  • your current situation
  • where you have lived before
  • what you need from your housing
  • whether you are on benefits, war disablement pension, or working

Who we can support

We can support you if you have ever served in the armed forces. This includes regulars, reserves and merchant navy.

You can get in touch with us after or before you have left the armed forces.

We will support you no matter when or how long you served, but if you get in touch within five years of leaving the armed forces, you will be classed as a priority. This means we will: 

  • be able to help you quicker
  • backdate your application to include the time you spent in the armed forces (you will need to provide your discharge papers as proof of when you left)

We can also offer advice to family members of those who have served in the armed forces.

Flats for ex-service men and women

In South Tyneside, there are nine flats especially for people who have served in the armed forces.

The flats are fully furnished and are not subject to bedroom tax. They can accommodate single people, couples or families, and are accessible for people with disabilities.  

Tenants of the flats can stay for up to one year, and during this time we can support you with things like:

  • making sure you are getting all of the benefits you are entitled to
  • accessing training, including transport and accommodation

The flats are well suited for people who are overcoming issues such as money, drug or alcohol problems.

If we think you might benefit from one of these flats, we'll organise an interview with you. We will ask you about:

  • your background
  • any issues you have, such as money, drug or alcohol problems
  • if you are currently working with anybody for support
  • where you have lived in the past and any issues that you had there

If you are currently working with probation, these flats might not be the best fit for you. We may recommend that you contact Changing Lives

If you are interested in one of these flats, call us on 0300 123 6633.

Household essentials (cooker, washing machine etc.)

If you are in a home, but are having trouble affording essentials (like a cooker, fridge, washing machine, sofa etc.) we might be able to help, so please contact us on 0300 123 6633.

If you would like to donate furniture or household items to help people in the armed forces community, call our Housing Options team on 0191 424 6456.

Local organisations that can help with housing

  • Armed Forces Support Service - Support for members of the Armed Forces community, including those who have left (regardless of how long ago) or are leaving. 
  • Changing Lives - A North East charity, which provides specialist accommodation for ex-service men and women.
  • Emmaus - Supports people to work their way out of homelessness, providing meaningful work, training, support and a stable home.
  • NAAFI Break - Armed forces drop in session, on the first and third Wednesday of every month in South Shields. A member of staff from South Tyneside Homes is usually there to provide housing support. 
  • Royal British Legion - Charity which provides support and advice for the armed forces community. 
  • Shelter (Newcastle) - Charity which offers a wide range of help and advice on all housing and homelessness issues.
  • SSAFA - Armed forces charity, which provides support with housing and more. 
  • Walking With The Wounded - Armed forces charity, which provides support with training, and advice on benefits and housing.

For more services which can help, visit the South Tyneside Council website: Armed forces support services.

More support and advice

For more support and advice for people in the armed forces community, visit the South Tyneside Council website: Armed forces support.

Watch the video

March 2021

Video transcript

Hello I'm Councillor Ed Malcolm and I'm Chairman of the Armed Forces Forum for South Tyneside Council and I'm here today outside the dedicated veteran's accommodation in Bedford Avenue at Laygate.

South Tyneside Homes and South Tyneside Council have developed this accommodation in order to help Armed Forces return into civilian life.

Many Armed Service personnel who return to civilian life can find the transition quite smooth, however there are those who will not find the transition so smooth and that's why we are here to help those veterans who find it difficult to make that transition into civilian life.

This is a dedicated accommodation where former service personnel can come, they have a year's tenancy and they are given support and help to help with employment, welfare rights benefits and any other service that the council can provide.

Hi my name's Lee, I'm the Armed Forces Support Officer for South Tyneside Homes. I'm stood outside the resettlement block at present, we have nine flats here, you can access this through South Tyneside Homes. Like I say it's a resettlement block so you do get priority leaving the Forces.

The level of support we have here is employment support, if there's any vulnerabilities, mental health support. You get to stay in this property for a year, it's a year's tenancy and within that year you'll be supported by me moving forward through the resettlement process.

We're very proud of the veteran community in the South Tyneside area, we have some great support services, we have NAAFI Break South Shields which is run by Joe Mills, it's a fantastic support service. Me and him work hand in hand together to support our veterans within the region.

Hi there, my name's Mark Campbell, ex-veteran, I moved into this block of veteran's flats last March 9th so I've nearly been here a year. I've been collecting bits and bobs for house, for when I get my new house. I'm on band one now, priority for housing which I'm in the process of looking for a house at the minute so hopefully should be out of here in the next month or so.

The block of flats is safe, you've got your intercom, you've got your video-com, always feel safe there's no threat or any trouble, it's a quiet block of flats. I've really enjoyed living here and will miss it.

The objective is that they will be here for a year and then move onto more permanent accommodation.

There's no Armed Forces personnel who returns to South Tyneside who will not be housed, they are given the priority on our housing list.

So I want to say today that if you know of anyone, or if there are any Armed Forces personnel watching this, if you need help from South Tyneside Council, then please get in touch with South Tyneside Council and we will do our utmost to help you.